This year, the world was shocked by the death of many people from the Polish Government as their plane crashed as they arrived to commemorate an event in European history. The event was the killing of what the Polish people called the destruction of the Polish intelligentsia, on April 7, 1940. That over 22,000 Polish officers were killed was never in question. What was in question was who did it – the Germans or the Soviets. After 70 years, Russian President Vladimir Putin finally forced his government to recognize that it was the Soviets under the direct order of Stalin that have done this atrocious act. Because the Polish officers were university graduates, Stalin wanted to destroy the future leadership of a people.
World War II, from the invasion of Poland until the conquering of Berlin by the Allied to the subjugation of nations under the Soviets, left millions of dead people. If one travels in Europe and talks with the locals, everyone has a war story because each family had someone who has been brutally killed in the war, the Soviet Gulag or who disappeared in the night and never came back. The expression that we hear often hear here in the United States “We fight them over there, so that we will not fight here” was not a luxury for many people. In fact when one studies the map of Europe one can see that some of the most vicious battles were fought on the Polish territory with not only soldiers giving their lives, but many residents likewise.
Yet, as Churchill often remarked in his correspondence with Roosevelt, World War II would not have been victorious for the Allied forces without the participation of the American military forces. The American soldiers came from afar without knowing the territory or the language, but ready and willing if need be to give their lives for of liberty and democracy.
Years later it is possible that many people who have been liberated have forgotten their liberators. There are revisionist historians who write history and they see more harm than good that came from World War II.
On this Memorial Day Weekend, every man and woman who has put on the uniform to defend our liberties, at home or abroad, should be honored. We the living should remember the dead – those who loved liberty more than their own lives and treasured our future more than theirs.